Fountain Central educators took part in the statewide event Red for Ed, but students’ education didn’t suffer.

On Nov. 19 some of the staff went to Indianapolis to represent Southeast Fountain School Corporation, but the school remained open to the students.

“We trust that our representatives in Indianapolis will do their best to draw attention to the lack of funding of public education in Indiana. Likewise, we supported them while doing our jobs-educating students. We wore red to support the cause, had breakfast and lunch provided for teachers, informed students of the lack of funding and how it impacts them as learners, had a photo booth where students could take pictures with teachers who have impacted their lives, and most importantly we will continue to teach in spite of the challenges and hurdles that public education faces,” said Kim Britton, social studies teacher and social emotional learning coordinator.

Fountain Central took part in a slightly different way, said choir teacher Hannah Pate.

“I think it’s safe to say that a vast majority of staff at FC are thankful that we work in such a great school. Administration took it upon themselves to help staff feel even more supported throughout this particular day. On a day when teachers went to make their voices heard, administration and several different groups made their own statements here at FC: We, as teachers, matter to the student organizations, parent organizations, and surrounding community here in Veedersburg. Fountain Central cares about students. I am confident that I work for the best administration in the area and I have the greatest kids.

“However, I know that isn’t the case for every teacher in Indiana. I’m incredibly thankful that I work for people who get along, who reason with each other, and who ultimately want what’s best for teachers and students. The problem is, those making decisions at the state level don’t seem to be supportive as the people I work for.”

Pate said, “While the goal was to raise awareness, I took the opportunity to help my students step outside the box. Most of them had very textbook answers when I asked them why they were wearing red. Many said they were wearing it because they were told to. I asked them if they knew who started #RedForEd. That alone was a fascinating discussion. It was a phenomenal opportunity

to help them understand the importance of asking questions and thinking critically. This wasn’t a fun day for the students. Fountain Central had four teachers travel to Indianapolis to represent the SEFSC, but classes continued as they normally would. It was an opportunity for teachers to have discussions we might not normally have during a regular school day.”

Classes took place as usual that day. “That was one of the pivotal parts about staying open. We want to give our students the best education possible,” Britton said, and the teachers did what they love to do — teach. “No state testing. No walk throughs or observations. No evaluations.” It was teaching the content they enjoy.

“For me, Red for Ed is about focusing on creating a climate where education is valued and important. A lot of people will talk about pay and while I believe that compensating the people who are educating our children is important, I think that society as a whole has lost sight of the importance of education. Red for Ed is about recognizing the immense importance of public education and creating high expectations and accountability for students, teachers, administration, and the government,” said Britton.